"City of Whispers": At the offices of the Gotham Gazette, Vicki Vale is faced with the uncomfortable position of trying to dissuade her boyfriend Jason Bard - who was only recently promoted to Police Commissioner - from trying to u
- You like your partners dead, right? I mean, it's pretty obvious, but I just thought I'd check.
- — Hush
Synopsis for "City of Whispers"
At the offices of the Gotham Gazette, Vicki Vale is faced with the uncomfortable position of trying to dissuade her boyfriend Jason Bard - who was only recently promoted to Police Commissioner - from trying to use her newspaper to manipulate the mayor into giving him more power. Jason insists that if they don't run a story telling of multiple imminent terror attacks against Gotham City, people will die, and this is the only way to save them. Reluctantly, Vicki agrees.
Within twenty-four hours, the city has fallen into mass panic and rioting as a result of the news. Fortunately, Harper Row and Red Robin have returned from Tokyo in time to save some lives and do some good. Despite her having stowed away on his plane against his will, Tim began training Harper in Tokyo. She still relies on her gadgets, though. Soon after rescuing a little girl from looters, Tim receives some bad news from Red Hood.
In the Batcave, Julia Pennyworth explores the memorabilia therein and wonders aloud just what Bruce Wayne's motivations in becoming Batman were - to his annoyance. Batman insists that he needs visuals of the rioting and property damage fed through to the Batmobile, reminding that Hush's plan is a serious matter that needs to be dealt with immediately. With Alfred in the hospital, recovering from Fear Toxin, it is up to Julia to take his place. Julia responds that she is a military intelligence agent. She has spent her time productively, discovering the identity of the man who released The Architect from Blackgate Penitentiary - Jason Bard.
Tim arrives at Gotham Mercy Hospital to find Jason standing over Alfred's bed. Their old friend has been placed in a coma in order to keep him from the horror of the fear toxin manipulating his brain. Tim worries that the attacks against Batman's allies seem to be getting closer to home. Ever since the Joker's systematic attack on the core of the Batman Family, they have had trouble acting as a unit - and these attacks feel just as personal. Someone wants to break Batman down by attacking his heart. Jason hopes that Tim will be the one to tell Barbara what happened, but Tim's response suggests that Jason has a crush on Barbara, Jason gets annoyed and take the responsibility upon himself, noting that Tim's crush on Harper isn't as subtle as he thinks, either. Sighing, Tim insists that if they are going to act in defence of these attacks, they will have to do it as a team - all of the family.
Meanwhile, Batman breaks into Jason's apartment in Midtown, only to find Hush there instead - or a hologram of him, at least. Grinning, Hush warns that he hasn't even begun to rip Bruce's life apart.
Barbara, meanwhile, calls her father at Blackgate, wondering what Jim means when he says that the commissioner didn't come to see him two days ago. She had heard from a friend on the force that Jason Bard was supposed to be visiting him, but he didn't visit Jim. Jim explains that he saw Jason, but he walked right past him. Frustrated enough, Jim asks after Barbara's life, instead of his own. Receiving her fourteenth missed call from Jason on her other line, Barbara begs off, and says her goodbyes, sadly. Frustrated, she finally picks up Jason's call and reminds that after all the work they did in South America, her father is still in prison. Tim responds that she's got the wrong guy, and insists that it's time that she joined everyone else for a chat with the Batman.
Angrily, Batman demands to know why Hush is carrying out this plan, and his enemy scoffs, reminding that every thing Bruce Wayne and Batman have achieved was undeserved, and rightly his. He warns of his intent to incriminate Batman with images of him entering Jason's apartment, and his plan to kill off any of Bruce's allies who get too close to the plan. Gritting his teeth, Batman swears that he will find Hush - he always does. Hush responds that this time, Bruce didn't even know it was him until he'd already won. In the meantime, though, he promises that he doesn't intend to kill Batman just yet. He has fallen into a trap, though, and that has consequences, as usual. The hologram disappears, just as the apartment blows up with Batman inside.
At the cave, Julia loses contact with Batman, and the computers won't give her any information on his vitals. Frustrated, she wonders just what her father signed her up for, but she is startled by the sound of Red Robin reporting in to inform that he and the rest of the family are on their way to the explosion site.
At Gotham City Hall, Jason Bard stumbles into a meeting with Mayor Hady, claiming that he barely escaped the explosion, which was just the first targeted terror attack on the city. The Mayor himself could be next. Feigning anger, Jason reminds that he had warned Hady this would happen - and he needs the power to take the city back by force. Convinced, Mayor Hady agrees to declare Martial Law in Gotham City.
Crawling through the flaming wreckage of the apartment building, Batman attempts to contact Julia for help, but receives help instead from the young people he considers his family.
Appearing in "City of Whispers"
- Gotham City
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 2.